Jewish Studies

Matthew L. Walsh

Angels Associated with Israel in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Angelology and Sectarian Identity at Qumran

[Mit Israel assoziierte Engel in den Schriftrollen vom Toten Meer. Angelologie und konfessionsgebundene Identität in Qumran.]

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Published in English.
In this study, Matthew L. Walsh examines the contribution angels made to the identity of the ancient Jewish sect responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls, specifically, the belief that their members alone had a connection to the angels who represented Israel in heaven.
A well-known characteristic of the sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls are their assertions that membership in the Qumran movement included present and eschatological fellowship with the angels, but scholars disagree as to the precise meaning of these claims. To gain a better understanding of angelic fellowship at Qumran, Matthew L. Walsh utilizes the early Jewish concept that certain angels were closely associated with Israel. Moreover, these angels, which included guardians and priests, were envisioned within apocalyptic worldviews that assumed that realities on earth corresponded to those of the heavenly realm. A comparison of non-sectarian texts with sectarian compositions reveals that the Qumran movement's lofty assertions of communion with the guardians and priests of heavenly Israel would have made a significant contribution to their identity as the true Israel.

Matthew L. Walsh Born 1978; 2016 PhD in Religious Studies (Second Temple Period Judaism and Early Christianity) from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; since 2016 Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.


The following reviews are known:

In: New Testament Abstracts — 64 (2020), p. 173
In: Dead Sea Discoveries — 28 (2021), pp. 268–270 (James R. Davila)
In: Journal for the Study of Judaism in — 53 (2022), pp. 300–304 (Alexander McCarron)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 146 (2021), pp. 686–687 (Martin Rösel)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (12/2021) (Andrea Ravasco)